The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
Home > On-line Edition > Biography

Percy Scawen Wyndham, 1835-1911

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1835.01.30
Place of Birth:
Date of Death: 1911.03.13
Place of Death: 'Clouds' Salisbury


Percy Scawen Wyndham, collector and 'Soul'. He was the son of 1st Baron Leconfield, George Wyndham (1787-1869) and Mary Fanny Blunt (d. 1863). He married Madeline Campbell (q.v.) in 1860. They had five children: George (b. 1863); Guy Percy (b. 1865); Madeline (1869-1941), later Mrs Adeane; Mary Constance (b. 1862), later Lady Elcho; and Pamela (b. 1871), later Mrs Tennant; the daughters were known as the 'Three Graces' of the Souls.


The Hon. Percy Wyndham was educated at Eton, and was a Captain of the Coldstream Guards. He was MP for West Cumberland 1860-1885, a Justice of the Peace and DL of Sussex, County Councillor for Wiltshire and a JP and Chairman of Quarter Sessions for Cumberland. Wyndham and his wife were the core of the bohemian group formed in the 1880s, known as the 'Souls'. The Countess of Warwick wrote: 'this little coterie of "Souls" loved literature and art, and perhaps were more pagan than soulful'. Burne-Jones (q.v.) was the painter closest to this aristocratic group. The Wyndhams owned Nocturne: Grey and Gold - Westminster Bridge (YMSM 145). They lived at Clouds House, East Knoyle, Wiltshire, which was designed by Philip Webb between 1881 and 1885 and decorated by Morris and Co. They also had a house in London, at 44 Belgrave Square. Wyndham's clubs were: Carlton, Marlborough, Burlington and Travellers.


Dakers, Caroline, Clouds: Biography of a Country House, New Haven and London, 1993; Abdy, J. and Charlotte Gere, The Souls, London, 1984; Who's Who, 1905; Debrett's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, London, 1896.